7.01.2010

The Story. May it die.

Since the theme of today’s blog post is talking about things that I don’t want to talk about, it only seems fitting that we acknowledge the elephant in the blog—your merch store orders. I completely understand your frustrations about not getting your stuff and promise you that we’re doing everything we can to get them to you. Every single thing that could have gone wrong with this little venture did. It was almost impressive. Almost. There were some rumblings the other day about me taking your money and running, but I promise that despite my current fiscal problems, Tulane Chris and I aren’t just laying around my apartment making it rain on each other with your hard earned money. All of the art work has been uploaded, proofs approved, bills paid and now we’re just waiting for customink to ship us the merch.

That being said, again, I really do understand how frustrating this is and I feel like a giant fucking asshole. So expect free stickers in all of your orders as well as a hand-written and heartfelt note from me, personally apologizing for being a worthless sack of fake hair and prescription lenses.

Thank you again for your patience and understanding that everything needed to make this process run smoothly exploded and if I had it my way, you would have gotten your shit weeks ago. I’m sorry. I hate me too. WAMP, WAMP. Now for today's post.

----------------------------------------------------

I’d like to think that I’m pretty open about what I’ll share with you fine people on this here rickety old blog. Whether it’s about my traumatic middle school experience, failing to interact with members of the opposite sex or being hospitalized with diarrhea—it’s all yours. That being said, there are two stories in my repertoire that I dislike telling: one, of course, is sorr about the bag (which paid for the computer that I’m currently using, soooo, thank god I got over that) and the second I’ve yet to share with you. That’s right. I’m holding out. I’m sorry; I’m not proud.

I think part of the reason I’m holding out on you is because it’s about a near-death experience that’s genuinely traumatic for me to relive. And because, you know, it kind of paints me as the fatest fat kid in the pie-eating contest. Which isn't anything new, but man; it's just really hard to have any personal dignity when your near-death experience involves spiced meats

Whereas I don’t like to tell The Story (capital T, capital S), you know who loves to tell it? Becca. My beloved sister jumps at the opportunity to gather pretty much anyone who’ll listen around the campfire, throw another log on, crack open a beer and tell The Story from start to finish in painful detail. And this includes the other night when she chose to share it with her fiance and future in-laws at dinner while I writhed around in my chair, softly muttering, “please…don’t” over and over again like we were in a Lifetime movie about date rape.

The summer is a particularly popular time for The Story because the majority of it revolves around eating steak at a cookout. That means that at every family cookout or dinner where steak or other various tough meats are consumed, The Story manages to get told no matter how much I protest. But you know what? I’ve had enough. No longer will I be a victim to the extreme embarrassment and tragedy that is The Story. No longer will I go out and tense up upon seeing steak on the menu. No longer will I bargain with god himself that maybe this will be the family BBQ where no one gets a twinkle in their eye and says, “Now Meg, [scoffs] make sure to chew.” I’m done. I’m telling the story right now and in doing so, I’m taking back the power. Today is my INDEPENDENCE DAY.

The Story

Christ.

The year was 2005. I was a spry 20-years-old and had just finished my sophomore year in college. I was temping for the summer at a company in Rockville, which means that I spent 8 hours a day shooting emails with friends, playing online Family Feud and writing in my emo LiveJournal. (Which, sadly, is a lot like every job I’ve had since then. Minus the LiveJournal. Plus a locally recognized blog. MOVIN’ ON UP!!!!!1)

The day was June 29th. (Happy 5 year anniversary, baby.) It was my sister’s 25th birthday and much like her 30th, we decided to celebrate with a family BBQ at my parent’s house. Because I was living at home for the summer, I had helped my mom shop for dinner the day before and knew what the spread was going to be: grilled teriyaki shish kebob that had been marinating overnight, homemade potato salad, homemade corn salad, beer, wine, and berries and whipped cream for desert. I was fucking pumped. (This is where the fattest fat kid at the pie-eating contest comes into play.)

Knowing this feast was going down that night, I decided to “pre-game” all day at work for it. “But you were only 20, Meggles,” I hear you say. “How did you manage to buy alcohol to drink all day at work?” Well, the answer to that is simple: I didn’t “pre-game” in the traditional sense of the word; I starved myself all day in preparation for dinner. I wanted that first bite of shish kebob to magical, so I refused myself food all day to make it that much more sweet. That is how I pre-gamed.

When I got home from work that evening, I was starving, yes, but more so, I was ecstatic that my shish kebob fantasies were about to become a shish kebob reality. (Jesus…)

By the time gifts were opened and Becca had been adequately fawned over, we finally gathered around the table for dinner. My mouth watered as my dad brought in the shish kebab platter, fresh from the grill. I took a skewer and expertly seasoned it with salt and pepper, poured myself an ice-cold beer, put my napkin in my lap and turned my phone on silent—it was go time.

Now, these were dire times we living in, people. Remember, I hadn’t eaten all day (out of choice, true) and the delicious BBQ fumes wafting throughout the room were enough to make a vegan put down the hippie stick and pick up a turkey leg. There was no time for cutting meat. Cutting was a thing of the past. God gave me a knife. In fact, he gave me six knives—they’re called molars. So I put what others have called a “comically large” hunk of meat in my mouth and chewed. About three times. And then swallowed.

OH, I’M SORRY. I sense your judgement. Sorry I didn’t go to Ms. Pedigree’s Finishing School. I was raised in the streets of suburban Maryland where you starved yourself before delicious meals and swallowed hunks of meats whole to remind yourself that that’s piss and blood in your body. Judge not lest ye be judged.

Now, as I’ve mentioned many times on the blog, I have giant, freak show tonsils. You know when you get sick and your tonsils swell to the point where they touch? Well, that’s how I live every single day. Every medical professional I’ve seen from my pediatrician to my gynecologist has stressed how badly I need to get them out, but I refuse for four reasons:

1.) I’m a pussy.

2.) I can barely afford the box of three week old Kashi Heart-to-Heart I’m currently noshing on for dinner, how do you expect me to pay for a tonsillectomy?

3.) Health Insurance is for trust fund kids and the King of France.

4.) I’m just genuinely curious how long I can keep this up. And by “keep this up”, I obviously mean, “stay alive.”

So when I swallowed this metric ton of deliciously marinated meat whole, it just eeked it’s way past my tonsils where it stopped and set up shop for the night. That's when time stopped and everything happened in slow motion.

“Hm,” I thought to myself, “That doesn’t feel quite right. Better swallow some spit to work that meat down.” But swallowing wasn’t so much an option.

“Well, stay calm,” I thought. “Take a deep breath, you’re ok.” But much like swallowing, breathing wasn’t really an option as well. I looked around the table to see if anyone had caught on that I had half a T-Rex launched in my windpipe. Nobody had. “Good,” I thought. “Just take a giant swig of beer, it’ll be enough to work the meat down and you’ll be fine.” I reached for my beer, let it fill my mouth and unable to swallow any of it or breathe, dramatically spewed it across the table and all over my sister. People had now officially noticed that I had a T-Rex launched in my windpipe.

Embarrassed, I ran into the kitchen not quite sure what to do next. That’s when my mom, like John Rambo running through the fields of ‘Nam, bolted out of her seat, ran into the kitchen, threw me over the sink and Heimliched me stupid as I clawed at the counter, running out of air.

Diane, bless her heart, managed to Heimlich the meat up but it couldn’t get past the giant barrier that was, and still is my tonsils. Realizing that I had about 10 more seconds until I was going to pass out and, you know, potentially die, I barbarically reached my hand into my mouth, down my throat, parted my tonsils and physically grabbed the hunk of meat by it’s hind leg and pulled, just as my mom gave one final push around my torso. The meat went flying out of my mouth and into the sink as I crumbled to the floor, tears streaming down my face.

It was fucking terrifying.

But more than being terrifying, it was embarrassing. Because in that moment when I seriously thought that I was going to die, all I could of was this conversation:

Random Person From High School #1: Did you hear about Meghan McBlogger?!

Random Person From High School #2: Oh my god, no! What happened?

Random Person From High School #1: Oh, she got overly excited about grilled meats and died.

I mean, that would be the way I died. I think that’s why I really thought it was the end at the time—because it seemed like a particularly fitting death.

But Diane saved me so I could survive and hear this story told over and over again at family BBQs and steakhouses all over this great nation. But no more! I embrace The Story! I starved myself for a day, didn’t chew the giant hunk of meat I put into my mouth and almost died! THERE! BAHAHAHA. Let’s laugh, let go and let god.

You can all buy your 2birds1blog brand “Throat Choke” Steak Sauce in the merch store starting now.

External hardrive, here I come.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Freedom!

Steph said...

BEST blog post ever. Seriously, I have tears in my eyes from laughing. Awesome!

KB said...

It's not my money, so maybe I've got a different perspective, but even if it WERE my money, why wouldn't you be making it rain while you're holding onto it? I'd still be getting my merchandise, and the hilarious imagery of you and TC letting out your inner Pacmans.

Disappointing.

insighttoriot said...

and, like the hunk of meat imprisoned by her tonsils, meg vaulted herself beyond the prison of her humiliation and into freedom. this is easily the most patriotic thing i've read this 4th of july season.

Anonymous said...

Gold. Pure Gold.

I have done almost the same thing. It wasn't a shish kabob, but an entire slab of steak that i was so excited about i cute it into 4 gigantic pieces. No one in my household was smart enough to do the heimlick though, so i also found that shoving my hand down my throat was the best option for staying alive. Since then I decided to eat grilled meats with extra small bites because they are a beautiful gift that needs to be savored.

Wiggs (The Beholder) said...

Much like racial expletives, I think putting your story out there in the open will weaken its power to harm you.

And don't stress about the merch stuff. People are going to get their durn bags, and then they can say that they were part of the first wave of orders from the online merch store that changed the face of internet shopping forever.

Angie said...

Gah! I have an extreme paranoia and fear of choking. So while the lead up made me laugh, the actual choking bit couldn't have been any more HORRIFYING to me. Good grief, I can't even imagine. Consider me an official empathizer for them cause.

SusieQ said...

customink is the bomb! got my softball shirts from that site and we are the hottest team playing on the mall! lol... meg thats actually a good idea- you should join a kickball/softball team asap! very entertaining, fun, and tons of men everywhere!

Anonymous said...

Uh, I can't believe there are so many choking on meat stories out there. Mine was during my semester abroad in Italy at the Hard Rock Cafe across from the Spanish Steps. Fortunately, my roommate saw my eyes get big as saucers and started screaming for help. A friendly Marine at the next table calmly performed the Heimlich while my friends looked on in horror. He was about six inches shorter than me so I had to squat to get what I later referred to as "a hug from behind." The worst part is, my dad wrote a letter to the Army Times (that they printed) retelling the story and commending the gentleman on his valor.

Anonymous said...

The Story reminds me of my favorite scene from Mrs. Doubtfire. Love it.

ps. I really, really hope Queer Abby comes back tomorrow...

Veronica said...

I feel ya Meg! I almost choked on a huge chunk of meat while backpacking through New Zealand. The group I was with just stared in astonishment as I deep throated myself and pulled it out. Almost dying should not be embarrassing, but it kinda is.

Cassie said...

Two things:

1. The first sentence about a T-Rex made me laugh out loud big time, in the middle of a quiet office.

2. I have a sister named Becca, her birthday is on June 29th, and she is one year younger than your sister. Sweet!

JLB said...

Meg- I am a longtime reader but first time commenter... I have to tell you that I understand your embarassment. I have had the Heimlich done on my FOUR times... a cinnabon, chicken spiedie, chicken finger, and chicken club. Not only have I had the Heimlich done, but more times than I can count, I have had to physically make myself throw up because food has become lodged in my throat. Unfortunately, these instances have taken place on my first day of work (two separate occasions), breakfast with a friend, at home (where I swear to everything holy I thought I'd have to make my dog jump on my chest and save me). Anyway, I have food allergens that have created these rings in my throat where food gets lodged, eosinophilic esophagitis. Yeah, it is not fun and I have finally given up tomatoes after nearly choking to death (I have a serious thing for ketchup and salsa so this was quite a sacrifice). My Mom has become so paranoid that we have created an emergency plan... You are not alone:)

Anonymous said...

Good call on the external hard-drive. I recommend iomega.

Also, my tonsils are terrifyingly huge as well. I once had a friend stop me when I was laughing (really excitedly with my mouth open) and be like: are your tonsils supposed to be that big?

I don't get them out because you know they catch all my throat infections like their supposed to. Strep>bronchitis, just saying.

U said...

I feel you on the "pregaming" for such a feast. My mind works that way too...My friends and I had a Queso-fest, with all things cheese related (ie..buffalo chicken dip, nacho queso, cheese enchiladas, mac & cheese...you get the point) and I chose to not eat the entire day in preparation. Biggest.Mistake.Ever. While I didn't need to get the Heimlich, I was pretty much down for the count after the first hour.

Emily said...

You have every right to be traumatized. That sounds horrible. My little brother almost choked on an ice cube one time and I still have nightmares about it.

austin said...

Meg, get your tonsils out. Stop with the tom-foolery.

I got my tonsils out three years ago, and look at me now!

Lex said...

(ahem the link to the store goes to go daddy because of the lack of www before it)

I read this at work and started laughing so hard that one of my coworkers came over to ask what I was laughing at. I managed to eke out "comic" between my giggles, which then prompted her to go on her computer and look up Pearls Before Swine, which then we laughed about for a good five minutes straight (there's a SHEEP stuck to Pig's BACK). So not only did you bring me intense joy, you also brought a coworker and I closer together.

2 Birds 1 Blog, bringing coworkers together over lies and giggles for a number of years that I'm not sure of.

Meredith said...

Yay! What with all the bitching about the blog the other day, I wanted to point out how much I love this post. Not because I'm being all ass-kissy about it, but because this is the kind of post that I really enjoy.

The primary reason I come here isn't so much for the features (Queer Abby, DGF, Netflix?) but because when I read your blog, I identify with the experiences that you've had and the general shittiness of your life and the lives of 20-somethings everywhere. My life is shit, too. But reading your blog makes me realize that I'm not the only one and that it's ok to laugh at the shit that happens, even when it's overwhelming. And so the real-life stuff and the social commentary is what makes this funny to me.

I DO live with my parents. I ALSO nearly died in a social-but-unsexual-choking situation (baked potato). I could possibly be your Ghost Tour coworker bc I ALSO saw their CraigsList ad and applied. So this post was awesome, and this blog is awesome. Do what you want to do, but these are the kinds of posts that I like the best. :)

Anonymous said...

You could suck dick a lot easier if you had your tonsils out.

Anonymous said...

Georgetown totally stole your idea for worst hookup stories and launched this website

http://worsthookups.com/

Nate said...

So many That's What She Said jokes in this...

Too bad no one is around to here me say them out loud.

Also, Meist. I read that DC is the #1 place to find a job in the country right now. My lease is up in a month and a half and I am still unemployed (it's gone way past funemployment and has become a serious problem...). So... If you see any job out there that I would kickass at and you don't want for yourself, please let me know.

kthnxbai.

Love,
Dr. Sinners

Anna said...

I was just thinking about how you should turn this Story into a merch opportunity. AND THEN YOU DID.

Jenna said...

That is absolutely how I pregame. I am with you!

Sarah Lindahl said...

You are so fucking funny I can't even stand it! I'm sitting here still laughing at your horrifying trauma. Every single part of that story was hilarious. If you want sympathy, you'll have to put more of a dramatic spin on it.

Anonymous said...

Sorr about the steak?

Kim said...

If it makes you feel any better, I did the same thing except it was at work, in a meeting, and I choked on a hotball (yes, a hotball). The girl next to me had to give me the heimlich in front of my entire staff, who then got to see a now pinkish hotball fly across the room. Mortifying.

Meghan said...

Choking is one of my biggest fears, especially b/c when I was younger a family friend choked to death alone in his house on a piece of steak...a month before his wedding! Now thats enough to permanently scar me into chewing 1938918 times before I swallow.
But hopefully now that I'm a vegetarian I won't get the whole potential "death by meat" experience...

pook555 said...

I love your stories Meg, and yes, this (to a lesser embarrassing degree) happened to me with Chinese food (sizzling steak to be exact) at home. Thankfully, I was able to choke it out (that's what she said) and didn't require the Heimlich, but the no breathing for a few seconds was no fun (yep, I cut that steak super small now). Know you are not alone with "The Story"!

Mary Kate said...

1 - I totally choked on a clementine on an airplane one time and my mom had to STICK HER FINGERS DOWN MY THROAT TO GRAB IT OUT. My dad on the other hand thought I was puking and offered me his hat to vom in. Regardless, I can kind of relate to The Story.

2 - I forget if you still have the iPhone, but if you haven't already you should totes invest in a little app called Angry Birds..it's disgustingly addictive (apparently its #1 in 56 countries..just sayin') and I think you'd get a significant amount of joy out of it. Or at least a blog post. Plus it has to do with birds and LOLZ your blog title references birds!

keep up the fab posts!

2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

Traumatizing. All of it.

CHEW. CHEW. CHEW.

2b1b: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

And Nate I just emailed you.

nicole said...

UM. I basically had the same thing happen to me. Except I didn't have the excuse of starvation-induced hunger pangs and smells o' plenty wafting up. And I wasn't around a close group of family or friends. Mine was sushi. In front of a whole restaurant. I ordered the "Futomaki" (fat-roll) and stubbornly shoved the whole thing in my mouth. As I was chewing it, the roll unrolled itself and ventured down my throat. Attempts to cough it up only ended in inhales pulling the sushi/rice mixture further down my throat. Tears streamed down my face and I stuck my hand down my throat and pulled the wad out.

And now, even though I love sushi dearly, constantly have a fear of CHOKING TO DEATH. And I had my tonsils removed, so I didn't even have that excuse. And the person sitting across from me, my boyfriend, made to attempt to rescue me :( Needless to say, in the small, sleepy town of Charlottesville, I refused to visit that sushi-joint again out of embarrassment. At least I was at a table instead of the sushi bar.

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